In their article, The Commodity Flow of U.S. Children's Television, authors Matthew P. McAllister and J. Matt Giglio argue that commodity flow is one of the most prominent aspects of television programming for children, and that this commodity flow and corporate brand imaging builds into the genre of children's programming a reasonably lucid selling culture. What comes from this flow of commodities is a blurring of the distinction between television content and promotional content, and shows how there exists a high level of commercialism targeted at this segment of the population. This essay will examine research concerned with advertising to children on television in an attempt to get a better understanding of how children respond to advertising, how the television industry and the companies behind them efficiently target children through the use of television flow (McAllister et al, 2005: 27), and how this should be a matter of concern for all people, especially now in this new age of digitization, where the television content consumer have access to an unprecedented amount of channels, content, and of course, advertising.
[...] There is no doubt that those in charge of television advertising are well aware of the concept of flow, as manifested in audience viewing patterns and programming strategies, since the beginnings of commercial broadcasting. According to Raymond Williams, “television is a technological and cultural experience that brings together discrete phenomena by framing them in a continuous stream of images and sound channeled through television.” (Williams, 1975: 86). This can be done through the se of “cliff-hangers” or other methods, targeted at holding the attention of the viewer, so as to expose them to powerfully targeted, multi- pronged advertising. [...]
[...] This essay has examined the research concerned with advertising to children on television in an attempt to get a better understanding of how children respond to advertising, how the television industry and the companies behind them efficiently target children through the use of “television flow” (McAllister et al, 2005: and how this should be a matter of concern for all people, especially now in this new age of digitalization, where the television content consumer have access to an unprecedented amount of channels, content, and of course, advertising. [...]
[...] Furthermore, the world of advertising as a whole is designed to make all of us including children feel dissatisfied with whom we are and what we have, in order to sustain the motivation to purchase new products that promise to improve our lives. Advertising results in making children feel good enough” and in need of constant improvement in at least three complementary ways: first, by presenting social, physical, materialistic or mental achievements that no one, including children, is capable of achieving; second, by presenting children who are similar to them, but who have been placed in subordinate roles; and third, when characters similar to the viewer are presented as having a much better life socially and economically. [...]
[...] New York, NY: Academic Press. Gobod, L.C. and Pfau, M. (2000). Conferring resistance to peer pressure among adolescents: Using inoculation theory to discourage alcohol use. Communication Research 411-37. Gunter, B., Oates, C. & Blades, M. (2005). Advertising to Children on TV: Content, Impact and Regulation. Mahwah, [...]
[...] McAllister and Giglio (2005) looked in depth at the business of advertising to children on television. They did so by recording various samplings of children's programming that was broadcast on popular children's networks on Saturday mornings. They discuss the various ways that broadcasters target children with their advertising. It is much more complex, and perhaps even cunning, than the typical ways we think about advertising: like the standard thirty-second advertisement during ‘commercial breaks.' One technique that they identify is called “living end credits” or “squeezed credits.” These occur at the end of a program when the credits are being displayed, but instead of them being shown in full-screen, they are minimized to allow for the bulk of the screen to be used for promoting something else, usually the next show. [...]
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